The European Service Module-2 and Orion crew module adapter for the Artemis II Orion spacecraft was moved into the Final Assembly and System Testing (FAST) cell inside NASA’s Operations and Checkout Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA, on 22 May 2023.

The spacecraft modules will be integrated with the crew module before being handed over to NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems for fuelling. The European Service Module holds 8000 l of fuel in four tanks that is distributed to 33 engines.

The first European Service Module exceeded expectations on the Artemis I mission, powering the Orion spacecraft around the Moon and back on its test flight. It supplied temperature control, propulsion and electricity for the spacecraft. For the two-week Artemis II mission the European Service Module-2 will have even more critical tasks as it needs to supply drinking water and breathable air to the four astronauts in the Orion capsule: NASA’s Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover and Christina Koch and Canadian Space Agency’s Jeremy Hansen.

In June ESA formally hands over the European Service Module-2 to NASA, ready for integration with the Orion crew capsule and then on the road to the launchpad, set for liftoff around the Moon in 2024.